If you have read a newspaper just once in the past nine months, you probably are aware of some pretty dramatic developments in the American energy market. Sadly, too often, I think the coverage misses the underlying significance of the economic and geopolitical shifts occurring in front of our eyes.
A relatively new technology, horizontal drilling, has been combined with an old technology, hydraulic fracturing, to unlock natural gas and oil from dense shale formations more than a mile below the ground, all across the country. As a result, we are enjoying the lowest natural gas prices in a decade and predictions of a bountiful supply and low prices far into the future.
Perhaps the biggest natural gas reserves are to our east in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and far eastern Ohio. The Utica Shale, which lies below roughly the eastern third of Ohio, holds great promise because of its mix of natural gas, natural gas liquids and petroleum found in the formation. These resources have the potential to greatly assist the region and the country.
The economic benefits are far-reaching. Billions of dollars already have been paid to Ohio landowners for mineral leases by natural gas and oil exploration and production companies. Ohio manufacturers are hiring workers to supply pipe, compressors, tanks, and trucks for the industry. Muskingum County's own Producers Service Corporation is building a new fleet of trucks. Eastern Ohio, including Muskingum County, is benefiting from the location of service companies that support the exploration and production companies. Local large manufacturing companies such as AK Steel are benefiting from a large supply of affordable natural gas to produce steel at competitive prices.Read the rest here.
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!